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Term 3
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Chapter 13: Hard Jokes

Third Term

The Horn crew is in full swing, roasting Aadan when I arrive. It feels like the running gag in the school sitcom, the one steady, reliable joke. How were your holidays, I ask. “Yes Aadan – how were your holidays,” the girls cry, knowing full well what took place. Aadan plasters on his best don’t […]

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Chapter 14: Tight Braids and a Grudge that's Frayed

It’s half way through the last full term of Year 12, and Michelle is waiting outside the nurses office. She looks more hangdog than usual. Are you okay, I ask. Her eyes dart left and right. “I’m pregnant sir,” she says, mournfully. I reel. The implications! Michelle lets me marinate for a while before cracking […]

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Chapter 15: Full Contact Sport

Sukhjit Kaur Kalsa arrives at Middlevale High, jetlag oozing from her eyeballs after seven weeks touring the US. Sukjit, a Sikh-Australian poet, here to do a spoken word workshop. Fatima, Michelle, Zala and Zahra come from the Year 12s. The rest of the crowd is African-Australian too. Sukjit tries on her young person cred with […]

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Chapter 16: The Red God Rage

The year is compressing, gathering itself into a final spring into the unknown, and it feels as if bonds are loosening, fraying. I remember the end of my school year, that bittersweetness, as we sang, tipsy, at someone’s 18th, singing Green Day’s Time of Your Life – another country’s anthem of the moment we’d appropriated, […]

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